Jack Ma, founder of Chinese eCommerce giant Ali Baba is back in Africa a year after he visited Kenya and Rwanda accompanied by 38 Chinese billionaires.
The Special Adviser to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business was reported to have landed in Ethiopia last Tuesday. and was spotted in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe two days later. He attended the Paradise Foundation’s first annual African Ranger Awards in Cape Town today and on Wednesday, he will be speaking at Netrepreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions, an event jointly organised by Alibaba Business School, UNCTAD and the Jack Ma Foundation.
The event holding at the Linder Auditorium, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, will see Ma address startups in South Africa and launch the Netpreneur Prize, an initiative to create a community of 100 young entrepreneurs and startups by 2030, during which they will have access to grants totalling $10 million.
Ma, had during his visit to Africa last year, launched a $10 million African Young Entrepreneurs Fund, as part of his commitment as UNCTAD Special Adviser, to champion initiatives to make it easier for young entrepreneurs and small businesses, particularly in developing countries, to participate in global trade.
With Ma, UNCTAD has recorded impressive progress in its objective of assisting governments in developing countries to promote enterprises, so that they are able to compete in the global economy. Last year, Ma’s eFounders Initiative run by his Ali Baba Business School enrolled 37 e-commerce entrepreneurs from Asia. Twenty four African participants had graduated a year earlier, becoming the first set of eFounders Fellows.
Jack Ma will be joined by other thought leaders for the event in South Africa where they will debate the challenges and opportunities facing a new digital Africa and the role that the public sector, investors, entrepreneurs and educational organizations can play in this transformation.
Click here to register for the event.